Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thoughts On Design and Building Things and An Amazing Woman...

Tuesday, Karen over at Strictly Simple Style asked the questions: "can anyone design a beautiful space?" I commented "I think some people are just gifted in different areas and it just comes naturally to them. I can walk into a room and redesign your kitchen or bathroom, including moving walls, etc., and can imagine what it will look like when it is finished and how the kitchen will work, but decorating a room is much more difficult for me. I am more of a structural designer..." This got me thinking...
One of the things that I really love doing is building, designing things that Mr. Fanatic can build. That's why I love designing kitchens and all types of cabinetry so much. Fortunately for me Mr. F loves building things, but has a harder time designing things. He likes a cut list...which I am good at! Ahhh, a match made in heaven!!! Building things is what we would love to have time to do more of.

 Here are two photos of the bunkbeds I designed & we both made for two interior design classes back in 98(?)
The girls needed a bed and knew they might be sharing a room for awhile so I made them as bunkbeds.
Hey, my choice of projects for the class was either do a 10 page paper on furniture or build a piece of furniture. It was an easy choice for me because Mr. Fanatic and I love building things!

Which brings me to  why we both LOVE Ana White over at Knock off Wood

I am not sure how I discovered hopping no doubt, but she went from starting a blog on building things to being offered her own show in about 6 months. She has been blogging now for about 8 months and has 6018 followers (as I write this). What she does is knock off the likes of Pottery Barn, West Elm etc. and give plans out so that others can make a similar piece of furniture themselves for cheap! Her followers then build the furniture and then send the photos to be posted. Ana is really inspiring and encourages women that they can use power tools and make things on their own.

 Isn't that a cool drawing? I heard she draws in Google Sketchup. I have downloaded it, but haven't learned how to use it yet. One of my goals for this year is to learn how to use this free program.

This is Ana White...isn't she cute?

Even more compelling is her story. She and her husband and daughter live in Alaska and built their own house with their own hands. She was "raised by a mother who couldn't read or write English or drive..." You have to read a journal entry of hers that talks about her becoming somebody.  She went to college for computer science,  was accepted in to a fast track management program at an undisclosed corporation and didn't like it so she resigned from her career. She felt like a failure. Then, this is what she came to realize: "But to me, being just a mom was an amazing job.  It was an opportunity for me to live a happy life, to influence my husband and daughter to live their best lives.  I felt completely fulfilled, and focused on simply being happy and healthy.  Because that is what matters in life.  And despite no one else feeling like I was "someone," I knew I had finally become "someone" important.  I was important to my husband and my daughter, and that is what matters."
I am so glad she learned this while she is still young and that she had the courage to resign from her career to do what is most important in life! I always love reading her journal entries because she is such a wonderful, genuine unpretentious person! You can read more of this journal entry HERE.
We don't know the details yet, but Ana White is working on a show with producers that will, no doubt make her a household name among DIY devotees. But those of us who have been following her blog from the early days know that she was always somebody amazing and special. It was apparent in her blog entries, in her love for her family and in her work... in her love for where she lives and her way of life... how she answers her followers comments on Facebook and how she is so open and honest about her struggles in life. 
I wish her all the best!



  1. I saw a comment from another blogger recently about something they had built after having another blogger make the plans and send them to her. I bet it was her. I cannot wait to add her to follow. She sounds like a great inspiration both professionally and personally. Thanks for the lead!

  2. Isn't she amazing! I have been a follower for some time of her blog. What a talent she has! My husband is going to make an armoire for the guest bedroom. That will be a fall project when it cools off a bit! What a great spotlight! Thanks for sharing and letting more people learn about this gifted lady!

  3. Hey Pam! Thanks for stopping by! GREAT post on Ana White (will check out her blog after here) and thx for the info about Google Sketchup (YES! VERY cool!!). I hadn't heard of it but will look into it for sure!!

    Have a Happy July 4th weekend!!
    :D Lynda

  4. Thank you for introducing her to us. I went over and bookmarked her blog and will be doing some reading this week. Happy 4th.


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